The son of a former Iowa athlete, Griffin Liddle grew up attending Hawkeye sporting events. He’s gained an appreciation for the in-state school.
Liddle now has the opportunity to be a part of it after being offered a football scholarship during Sunday’s junior day visit. He adds it to one from Iowa State, which he landed on Thursday.
“It felt great to receive an offer from Iowa. To me it means the coaches think highly of me as a person and as a player,” Liddle told HN.
And that’s most important when considering the opportunity. Even though someone is raised rooting for a school, that doesn’t mean he’ll best fit there. Iowa is showing that it could be the right place for Liddle based on the people.
“The coaches and the entire staff stood out the most during my visit. They really care about their athletes and they want their athletes to not only be successful on the field but also in the real world,” he said.
Liddle’s father, Josh Liddle, wrestled at heavyweight for the Hawkeyes in the early 2000s. Griffin reached the state tournament this year as a freshman, losing in the Class 3A semifinals to eventual champion, Caleb Sanders of Glenwood, the No. 16 wrestler in the weight class nationally, per Flo Wrestling.
“My dad took me to Iowa City as a kid to football games and wrestling meets,” Griffin said.
As a freshman for the 10-2 Bulldogs, Griffin Liddle (6-3, 255) recorded 20 tackles (5 for loss) as a defensive tackle. He also delivered 2.5 sacks and recovered a fumble.
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“I think I spoke with every coach during the (Iowa) visit. Mostly we talked about my wrestling season that just got over,” Liddle said.
Liddle will try making it back to Iowa for a spring practice. He’s looking forward to continuing to build a relationship with the Hawkeyes.
So far, Iowa and Iowa State have been showing the most interest in Liddle. Northwestern and North Dakota State have been in contact with the Bettendorf coaches.
“I’m in no hurry to commit,” the freshman said. “I need to be comfortable and sure of my decision. Then it will be the right time.
“It’s really early in the process but I’m hoping it is smooth.”
Liddle is keeping the early attention from colleges in perspective. He’s not letting it go to his head.
“I have goals that I have yet to achieve, personal and team, that are very important to me,” he said.
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Alex Padilla, a 6-1/190 signal caller from Englewood (Cherry Creek), Colorado, verbally committed to Iowa on Thursday.
While he’s not sure of his field of study in college and has plenty of time to decide, education will play a big role on Liddle’s decision.
“Also important is feeling comfortable with the program, coaches and teammates,” he said.
Liddle is the third Class of ’21 prospect reporting an offer from the Hawkeyes, joining defensive ends J.C. Latham (Wisconsin) and Damon Payne (Michigan). Southeast Polk running back Gavin Williams and Logan Jones an offensive lineman from Council Bluffs Lewis Central, both sophomores, are the only other in-state underclassmen with Iowa opportunities.
Here’s a look at Liddle’s freshman highlights: